Last week I reviewed the Peak Design hand strap they call Clutch. This week I am taking a look at two of Peak Design’s camera straps, namely Leash and Slide. These are probably the most useful and versatile camera straps I’ve had the pleasure of using.
As I said in my review of Clutch, I really don’t like the neck straps you normally get when you buy a camera, mainly because they get in my way during packing my gear and are very uncomfortable to wear. The trouble with this approach when I am covering an event is that when I am using two cameras and I don’t have a strap to sling the unused camera over my shoulder, I either have to lay it at my feet or figure something else out.
Both Slide and Leash solve this problem by letting me wear my cameras “bandolier” style across my body. This is because they are both length adjustable, something you don’t get with a “default” neck strap. So, if I am wearing my second camera across my torso, I can easily put the primary camera in my right hand and slide the second one up to shoot using my right hand. Another major benefit of carrying your camera across your torso this way is that it doesn’t swing around while you are moving like a neck strap would. If you have to bend down to get something out of a bag, provided you have positioned your Leash or Slide strap so that your camera sits around waist height, it won’t dangle like it would if you were using a traditional neck strap. It works for me.
OK, so these two straps do similar things but each of them have their own unique features which may affect which of them you wish to purchase. First off let’s look at Slide.
Slide is designed for large heavy DSLR’s or medium format rigs, but can be used on any camera if you are comfortable with the width of the strap. It’s 45mm across, so not exactly a thin strap. On either end you will find the Peak Design clips where you can slot in the Anchor Links that you will have looped through your cameras strap lug points, or if you have used the supplied ARCA style plate that comes with Slide, attach it to the bottom (it’s necessary to use that point if you want to use the “bandolier” style of wearing your camera). It goes on and off lickety split using those anchor links.
Also on either side of the strap you will see buckles that have loops on them. These are what make Slide so easily adjustable. All you need to do is hook a finger in one of them and while bracing at the anchor point with one hand, tug up and the strap slides shorter. Pull down to make it longer. It really works well and makes this strap very easy to adjust quickly.
If you look at the first photo of Slide above you will notice that the middle section of Slide is a little stiff looking. That’s because they have some padding in there as well as on the overside there is some rubberising for when you need to wear it on the shoulder and not have it slip off your shoulder. The stiff section isn’t as stiff as you’d think and its still possible to roll the strap up around your fist and not have it unravel (see pic above).
Leash is a much thinner strap, measuring only 20mm across its breadth. It also has the Peak Design Anchor Link receivers on either end so if you have an extra Peak Design ARCA style plate you can also attach it to the bottom of your camera and use it bandolier style.
The main difference with Leash when compared to Slide is that it has only one length adjustment buckle, so the doubled up section of strap is much longer, which gives the impression that it isn’t as neat looking as Slide. On the buckle section of Leash there is also another Anchor Link, so you can create a loop on one side of the strap that you could attach to your belt if you were going climbing and wanted to make sure that your camera didn’t fall too far. Personally I’m not planning on doing any mountaineering with my cameras courtesy of an in-built personal safety feature that I have: I don’t do heights!
So which of these two straps should you choose? Well, Leash is great, but I think I prefer Slide on my Olympus E-M1. It just feels a little more refined than Leash. The good news is that Peak Design have announced that a revised version of Slide called SlideLITE which they designed specifically for smaller mirrorless cameras will be shipping really soon (like next month). It will be a bit thinner than Slide at 32mm and also dispenses with the internal padding I mentioned. I think I will definitely want one of those.
All in all these are very cool and worthwhile products for photographers looking for straps that do more than the uncool neck straps that came with your camera.
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